What is the smallest African country? If you include the island nations around the continent, then it is the Seychelles, an archipelago of about 115 islands located north of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The total area of the Seychelles is only about 2.5 times larger than the size of Washington DC. Although many of its islands are uninhabited and about half of its area is a nature reserve or national park. By African standards its population is small, roughly the same as the city of Albany, New York.
The Seychelles had no indigenous population, which means all the people living there are immigrants which began arriving in the late 18th century. Its current population is a mix of African, French, Indian, and Chinese. The main languages spoken are Creole, French, and English. The Seychelles is a world leader in sustainable tourism. It has endless miles of beautiful beaches, many species of rare birds, and the Coco de mer tree, which produces the largest seed in the world at 15 kg.
On the continent of Africa the smallest country is The Gambia. The Gambia is located in Western Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. It is slightly smaller than Jamaica. The whole country consists of the Gambia River and the land surrounding the river, so it is a long, winding country that is no more than 31 miles across at its widest point. It is surrounded by its neighbour, Senegal, on three sides and borders the Atlantic Ocean on its fourth side.
In many ways the The Gambia is a contrast to Seychelles. It is home to 2 million people that live in and around urban centers, making it one of the most densely populated in Africa. Most Gambians subsist on farming or fishing. And about one-third of the population lives below the poverty line. This make Gambians one of the largest groups emigrating to Europe from Africa as many try to escape their conditions.
If I had to choose which country to visit, it would not be difficult to choose The Seychelles over The Gambia. The Seychelles has one of the highest GDP rates in Africa while The Gambia has one of the lowest. I know The Gambia must have some charm to offer, but I just could not turn down exploring all those miles of coastline belonging to The Seychelles..